I heard this pretty song — “Melba’s Tune” — while driving the other night. I’m reasonably well acquainted with jazz, but never heard of Ernie Henry. My loss. He was definitely a heavyweight: You don’t get Lee Morgan, Benny Golson, Kenny Dorham and Monk into the studio if are chopped liver. It’s also too bad that there is no video of him playing.
This is the end of his entry at American National Biography Online:
Henry was a tragic figure in jazz. Though not a major innovator, he developed a unique and personal musical voice at a time when few of his contemporaries had done so. His Riverside recordings are among the very best of the years immediately following Charlie Parker’s death, and they bore promise of still greater things to come.
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